Inmates are becoming more and more creative when it comes to finding ways to get contraband into prison. NYSCOPBA representative Bryan Hluska says over the past two months several packages were received in the mail containing synthetic marijuana and Suboxone.

There were several instances in which Correctional Officers inspecting incoming mail found contraband sent to inmates from loved ones or friends. NYSCOPBA Vice President Bryan Hluska says, "Since day one of this pandemic drugs mailed in packages to inmates rapidly increased across the state without a single action taken by DOCCS.  They have been silent on this issue while NYSCOPBA continues to call for the implementation of the Secure Vendor Program.  While staff continues to do an exemplary job detecting the drugs being mailed in, until we hold those sending the drugs criminally responsible this will continue to be an on-going problem."

Listed below are descriptions and accounts of the attempts to get contraband to the inmates.

Monday, June 29th, 2020
According to NYSCOPBA VP Bryan Hluska an officer was processing a care package sent to an inmate that contained various snacks. Upon further review of the contents of the package, the officer noticed the snack packaging had been tampered with. The officer then opened the packaging to find a green leafy substance mixed in with the snacks. That substance tested positive for synthetic marijuana, or K2.

Saturday, July 11th, 2020
On this particular day officers confiscated two packages. One package contained K2 and the other Suboxone strips. Again, while searching the food wrapping officers noticed cookies that had been tampered with and upon further review, the officer located 16 orange strips that tested positive for Suboxone. Another officer discovered in a separate package a box of cigars with the middles hollowed out and filled with K2 inside. The ends of the cigars contained just enough tobacco still to maintain a regular appearance, according to Hluska.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
In this most recent incident, officers processed two packages for two inmates at the facility. The first package contained cookie containers with a total of 38 orange Suboxone strips and seven grams of K2. The second package, also with "cookies" inside had 14 balloons containing 63 grams of K2.

Each of the items were seized as evidence and it was learned that each of the packages had been sent from various locations across New York State and one had been sent from North Carolina. Hluska hopes to have his prisons on a system where they handle control of all sale and gifting of snacks to inmates.

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